J&K: Omar govt slammed after official resigns to protest minister's 'abuse'

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Srinagar, Aug 8: The government of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was embarrassed after a senior official in the public health engineering (PHE) department quit the service after accusing state Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister (CAPD) Chaudhary Mohammad Ramzan of verbally abusing him at an official meeting at the Civil Secretariat on Thursday.

The minister, however, refuted the allegation and said he only sought explanation for the "failure" to execute a water-supply scheme in a village in Handwara, his constituency in Kupwara district. The local residents protested after the Rs 5.84-lakh scheme failed to deliver and the authorities were met over the issue. State PHE Minister Sham Lal Sharma convened the meeting.

The minister said the official resigned after being asked on a project's failure

Ramzan said he had asked the authorities to probe the matter and was subsequently informed that a senior engineer was given the job but the probe did not proceed as the latter was transferred. Ramzan then reportedly wrote to Lankar in June seeking an explosion but he did not get any response. When Lankar was asked about the matter at a meeting, he hit back and walked away only to resign later, the minister said.

Opposition PDP slammed the Omar government for allegedly abusing an "upright abd honest" officer and described it as a new low in the working of the state government.

Jammu and Kashmir is due to go to the polls later this year.

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